The Pittsburgh Panthers used a dominant opening 10 minutes to defeat the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions, 66-41, on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
The Panthers (4-2) opened with a 16-2 run and handcuffed the Golden Lions (0-5) on defense throughout the first half. Pittsburgh limited Arkansas-Pine Bluff to just nine points in the game’s first 15 and a half minutes. With 4:30 left until halftime, the Panthers established a 24-9 advantage they largely maintained the rest of the way.
Pittsburgh led 31-18 at halftime and continued to preserve a double-digit lead into the early minutes of the second half. Arkansas-Pine Bluff very briefly trimmed its deficit to nine points, at 35-26, on a 3-pointer by Markedric Bell with 16:59 left.
That push by Pine Bluff was short-lived, however. Pittsburgh scored on its next possession — a layup by Justin Champagnie — to reestablish a double-figure lead at 37-26. Pittsburgh led by at least 11 points throughout the game’s final 16 minutes.
Pittsburgh finished a modest 26 of 61 from the field (42.6 percent). The Panthers were just 5 of 23 from 3-point range (21.7 percent).
But they forced 22 turnovers from the Golden Lions, including 15 steals, which was higher than the number of fouls the Panthers committed (11) on Thursday night.
Pittsburgh’s defense also turned Arkansas-Pine Bluff into a one-man team. Bell, who led the Golden Lions with 21 points, was the only Pine Bluff player to score more than seven points. He finished 10 of 19 from the field, compared to 5 of 27 by all of his teammates.
Pittsburgh was led by Champagnie, who scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He added six rebounds and three steals.
Pittsburgh also received 13 points, six assists, and four steals from Xavier Johnson. Panther teammate Eric Hamilton came off the bench to score 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
- Field Level Media